The law has held great fascination for writers and philosophers dating back thousands of years. As the modern novel grew into an accepted genre of writing, that fascination only increased and the law has continued to provide writers with all manner of fertile material from which to craft their tales for centuries.
Many of these authors have been trained, practicing lawyers who maintained parallel careers before turning solely to writing. Some studied law at university but never completed their degree, instead utilizing that accumulated knowledge in their writing. Still, others not formally trained in the law absorbed the intricacies of the legal system through their jobs as newspaper crime reporters and have crafted some of the most wildly entertaining novels of recent times.
These are writers who have achieved the pinnacle of success in their profession and whose critically acclaimed works have stood the test of time, remaining as relevant today as when they were written. Among them are Henry Fielding, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Franz Kafka, Charles Dickens, Herman Melville and Jane Austen.
Add to them an impressive array of American authors of the past 100 years that includes William Faulkner, Harper Lee, John Grisham and Scott Turow. Regardless of the time period in which they wrote, they all captured the essence of the law.
Richard North Patterson